Category Archives: Captain’s Log

Captains Log Nov 2009

The care of the environment in which we live is a responsibility we must all share. The ozone layer, climate change, global warming and carbon footprints are terms we are all becoming increasingly familiar with. If we are to safeguard the earth and it’s resources for future generations then we need to take action now. As God’s people we have an obligation to care for the world in which we live and we can all do something.
All Christians are environmentalists and our duties to be caretakers of God’s creation are described in the opening chapters of Genesis. The latest media emphasis is on ‘carbon footprints’ which we all leave behind for better or worse by the way we use energy, resources and so on. They tell us a lot about our way of living and are an indicator of how much we really do care about our surroundings.
Footprints can reveal much about a person. The length of stride, depth of imprint, directions in which they are going all provide information about the person in question. Some footprints, however, are only temporary. Footprints in the sand are washed away by the tide and footprints in the snow gradually melt away. Other ‘footprints’ we make, however, are lasting and have consequences for the future. Our ‘carbon footprint’ is one of these but there is another which when we leave it behind say a lot about us as individuals. 
It is the footprint of our living faith in Jesus Christ. It says a lot about our way of living and how much we really care about God and each other. It reveals to those around us the direction in which we are going, the depth of our faith and the length we are prepared to go to serve our Saviour. These footprints will not be washed away but are set in time and eternity. Like our carbon footprint we need to carefully and prayerfully evaluate them on a regular basis if we are to safeguard ourselves. The Word of God will help us to do this. As the psalmist wisely proclaimed, ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path’ (Psalm 119:105 NIV).
May you continue to make footprints that will improve your environment and take you along ‘the beach of life’ to Paradise.
Captains Philip and Debbie.

Captains Log Dec 2009

The season of Advent is a time of preparation to celebrate our Lord’s coming. During the days and weeks leading up to Christmas Day we can reflect on what this means for us personally and for the whole of mankind.
It is a time of expectation, of giving and receiving. God gave mankind a very special gift, Jesus Christ, who has brought us hope, joy, love and peace. These are the themes of Advent.
Advent reminds us of three different comings of Jesus. The first is in the past, the second in the present and the third will be sometime in the future. Jesus came into the world as a light a long time ago at the first Christmas.
For centuries God had promised He would send His Son and the people lived in HOPE that one day this would happen. God made the promise and God kept it! A tiny, helpless baby was born in Bethlehem, the light that would lead mankind to God, the Saviour of the World. Good news of great JOY was proclaimed for all people.
The second coming of Jesus belongs in the present and is into the lives of all who will accept Him. It is a personal experience. At this very moment in time Jesus is waiting to be invited into people’s hearts and when asked He will come. 
He wants us to experience true PEACE which comes through fellowship with God. He wants to show us the way to find salvation and eternal life. He wants us to know God’s LOVE. He who came as a child in a stable is the one who still comes, ‘where meek souls will receive Him still.’
The third coming of Jesus is still in the future. We don’t know when, ‘No-one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.’ Matthew 24:36 (NIV) Jesus will come again to reign eternally.
May you personally experience the real hope, joy, love and peace of knowing Jesus this coming Christmas day and everyday.
Seasons greetings to you all.
Captains Philip and Debbie.

Captains Log October 2009

‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.’ Genesis 1:27
Just imagine for a moment that you were able to create something with it’s own mind and free will. It is so special that you decide to put something of your own character into it making it to your likeness. Then it rejects you and wants nothing at all to do with you. As you watch it go it’s own way you know that inevitably, without your intervention, it will perish. Imagine what it might feel like. 
You don’t want it to perish and the thought of it upsets you so much that it brings you to tears. You’ve invested so much time into it, put so much intricate detail into it and love it so much that you are prepared to suffer to bring it back to you. Still, you won’t use force to reconcile this beautiful creation, but you will provide a way by which this creation can make it’s way back to you. Knowing it has sold itself to something else you are prepared to pay an incredible price to get it back. All motivated by the love of a Creator for their creation.
One of the most familiar verses in scripture is contained in the gospel of John chapter three verse 16 and has been described as the ‘gospel in a nutshell.’ It shows how God, motivated by tremendous love has acted to reconcile all of His creation to Him. It begins with the words, ‘For God so loved…
God………………………..The greatest Lover 
So loved…………………..The greatest Degree
The world…………………The greatest Company
That He gave…………….The greatest Act
His only begotten Son….The greatest Gift
That whosoever………… The greatest Opportunity
Believeth………………….The greatest Simplicity
In Him…………………….The greatest Attraction
Should not perish……….The greatest Promise
But……………………….  The greatest Difference
Have………………………The greatest Certainty
Eternal Life……………….The greatest Possession
These verses from the book of Genesis and the gospel of John speak of the incredible value God places on every single person. Every single day it reminds us of God’s love and care and with the psalmist we can proclaim, ’O Lord, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world.’ Psalm 8:9
Captains Philip and Debbie. 

Captain’s Log July 2009

Dear Friends, 
In the book of Philippians in the New Testament, one of the early church leaders, the apostle Paul wrote these words:
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who 
began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart..’ (Philippians 1:3-7 NIV)
Whilst those words were written to a different church congregation almost two thousand years ago, they sum up perfectly our feelings for all of you here as part of the church family.  
As we prepare to move later this month, we thank God for being part of this church and this community these last eight years.  It has been exciting to share in this journey together and see God do some wonderful things!   And that is in no small part down to all of you!  
Thank you for all your support in the life and ministry of this church for the building of God’s Kingdom.  This church would not be what it is without you – always remember that!   
Thank you too for your love shown to our children, please keep them in your prayers as they make new friends and adjust to new surroundings.
All of us at times in our lives enter new chapters but we serve  the same God, who has promised to always be with us!   We are partners in the same gospel and in the mission that God has called His church to do.  We urge you to embrace the future wholeheartedly under the new leadership of Captains Philip and Deborah Nield.  We commend them highly to you and believe that they are the right people to lead the church in the future.  
Please keep us in your prayers as we move on.  We will always remember you for it has been a privilege and honour to be ‘partners in the Gospel’ with you!  We give thanks to God for all of you and for  the joy we have had in being here in Histon and Impington!  
May God bless you all with His love, joy and peace!  
Paul & Louise Wood  

Captains Log June 2009

Dear Friends, 
Erwin McManus writes in his book, ‘The Barbarian Way’ that, ‘God created you so that your life would count, not so that you could count the days of your life.’  It is a helpful statement to 
reflect on what is important in life.  Too often, we can be focussed on events in the future that we can forget to enjoy the present as well!  
It is also a helpful statement when it comes to the vision that the church has.  Recently the Church/Corps Council has met to look at revising the 
vision statement to reflect what the church is seeking to achieve.  
When we become part of God’s family, or to use another phrase, when we become followers of Jesus, one of the great joys that we discover is how important we are to God.  We can be blown away at times when thinking about the Cross and the Resurrection of how much we matter to God.  When it comes to God, we know that our lives count to Him!  How important then that we live our lives so that each day counts for God!
Making each day count doesn’t necessarily mean doing something 
spectacular but about being a faithful follower of Jesus.  If we do that, we will have some wonderful experiences but there will also be days that are difficult and others that just seem routine.  However, the Bible tells us that our faithfulness is not wasted in Corinthians when the apostle Paul said, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.” (see 1 Corinthians 15:58).  
God has put us all here for a purpose and if we faithfully follow God, we are making each day count for Him in fulfilling God’s plan for our lives.  We may not become world famous or have our names recorded in the history books but we know that where God is concerned our lives count!
That is in part why we have revised the vision statement because as a church, that is the kind of message that we want to give out.  We want people to know that in God their lives count!    
So, don’t just count the days away!  Instead, make the most of each day, for each day we have is a precious gift from God to faithfully follow Him. If we do that, we are making a difference for God in this world!  Your life does indeed count more than you may ever imagine!    
May God bless you,
Paul & Louise Wood

Captains Log May 2009

ear Friends, 
One of the songs that we sometimes sing in church has the words, ‘The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You (Jesus)’.  And they are words that I believe to be true!  
There are many people in life who strive to be the greatest in their field yet none of them match up to Jesus.  There is nothing greater than to know 
Jesus, to realize how much we matter to Him, and to follow Him in all areas of our lives.  Just looking at one verse in the Bible can give us a number of reasons why I have found that to be true for my life.
Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd.’ (see John 10:11 NIV).  Back in Bible times, being a shepherd was quite a common occupation.  In today’s times, Jesus might use a more well known occupation like pilot or driver
 instead of shepherd.  The reason is that when Jesus said the word 
shepherd He was saying that He is someone who is:
Trustworthy: Jesus is faithful to His promises, He does not change but is 
consistent and true, completely trustworthy.
Compassionate: Jesus is compassionate, patient towards us and wants to help us  as we try to make our way in this world and longs for us to follow Him.
Guide: Jesus is there to lead us through life and the plan and purpose that God has for our lives.
Guard / Protector: Jesus is there to protect us, to watch over and help us through the good and difficult times in life.
Rescuer / Redeemer: Jesus has saved us through His death on the Cross and Resurrection.  If we commit to following Jesus in our lives, we are 
forgiven for the things we have done wrong and given a new start in Him with the promise of eternal life in heaven.
There are many more words and examples in the Bible that can describe why knowing and following Jesus in our lives is the greatest thing we can do.  All a person has to do is to be willing to make that step to follow Jesus in their life and then they too can experience that the greatest thing in life is knowing Jesus as Lord!  
May God bless you,
Paul & Louise Wood

Captain’s Log February 2009

Dear Friends,

It was eight years ago this month that the Care and Share Charity Shop first opened its’ doors to the general public here in Histon and Impington. 

Since that time, the Charity Shop has gone from strength to strength and to that end, we will always give thanks for the
vision and work of our predecessor, Captain Denise Cooper, and the great support of Divisional Headquarters in setting the shop up back in 2001.

It has been wonderful to see how the shop has become an established part of community life.  Customers are able to come and find good bargains for sale.   Yet, even more importantly, they are able to come and feel valued.   This is because the volunteers who work there make a great effort to befriend the customers and so it is quite common for customers to pop into the shop to chat to the staff (sometimes not buying anything!).  And this was always the primary goal of the shop, to become a meeting place for people in our community.   

As a church, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the volunteers, both past and present, who give of their time to help The Salvation Army in this way.  They are a great advert for the Salvation Army at work in our community. 

Perhaps one of the greatest successes of the shop has also been the impact that it has had on the volunteers who work there.  What we have seen happen is how each shift of volunteers becomes like a family as they often become good friends with each other.  This makes an impact too with the customers who come in at specific times each week to chat to the volunteers who are on duty at that time.  In this edition of the newsletter, you will also be able to read the moving story of Fonz Chamberlain, and how working in the shop has helped him get back on his feet with his life.   

As the shop is 8 years old this month, we echo the words of 1 Chronicles 16:8, (NIV) “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” We thank God for the success of the shop! 

Next time you pop into the charity shop, why not just say thanks to the
volunteers for the work they are doing.  They’ll be pleased to see you and give you a warm welcome!  

May God bless you,

Paul & Louise Wood

Continue reading Captain’s Log February 2009

Captains Log January 2009

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!  We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and would like to wish you the very best for 2009.   

The month of January can sometimes be an anti-climax once the excitement of Christmas is over and the decorations are taken down.  For others, it is a chance to have a bit of a rest after the
busyness of the Christmas season. 

As we have packed away the Christmas decorations and also entered into a New Year, it is helpful too that we don’t inadvertently ‘pack away’ the true meaning of Christmas for Christians.   Whilst it would be a bit much to have Christmas every day, we can live out the message of Christmas each and every day.  We  remember the gift that God gave to each one of us: the ultimate gift of His Son, Jesus Christ.   God gave us Jesus to guide and direct us in the way that we should go.  Jesus Christ set us the example to live by, showed us how to love and care for each other and share the love of God with people.

The writer of Hebrews wrote that,  ‘Jesus is the same, yesterday and
forever.’  (Hebrews 13:8)  In a sense, let us seek to give out the same message of God’s love yesterday today and tomorrow.  Let us pray and look for opportunities to do that with people and in that way the meaning of Christmas will not be ‘packed away’ for them until next Christmas! 

I hope and pray that this year may be one in which we give our best to
ensure that Jesus doesn’t just get ‘packed away’ again until Christmas for people.  Let us share the gift of Jesus, that ultimate gift from God each and everyday and live our lives so that they also reflect the qualities that Jesus Himself taught us. 

As the year 2009 begins and we wait in anticipation to see what it might hold for each of us and our church, let us hold on to the message of
Christmas and make this year a year were Jesus is the centre of all that we do and say.

May God bless you.

Louise & Paul Wood

Captains Log December 2008

Dear Friends,

Just a few weeks ago, Louise and I had the
privilege of being able to visit my home of Seoul, South Korea to attend The Salvation Army’s
Centenary Congress.  During our time there, one of the sights that stood out was how many of the churches had fluorescent crosses on the top of their buildings.  This made for a powerful statement of the Christian presence within the city at night as the crosses would be lit up across the skyline.  It reminded me of the image of the light shining out of the darkness.

Advent and Christmas are the time of year when we celebrate that Jesus Christ came to this earth.  When we see some of the bad things that
happen in this world, it’s easy to ask the question, ’where is God in all of this?’. The truth about Christmas is that God is already here.  God saw the difficulties of this world long before us and responded by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth over 2,000 years ago.

The problem is that we do not always see that.  It’s easy to get caught up just focussing on the troubles of this world.  Yet, what we find in the Bible is that Jesus is the answer to the world’s problems.  If only people would recognize Jesus for who He is!  Then many more might come to realize how much God loves us and decide to accept Jesus as their Saviour?

How can we do something about that?  The easy answer might be to put a fluorescent cross on our building (although planning regulations might not allow us to!)  Instead, the answer that can have a lasting impact, which is what the Korean Christians are doing as well, is to let the light of God shine out of us into the lives of people that we meet.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV), "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. 

As we enter the Advent season, I give thanks to God that Jesus is the
answer!  May His light shine out from each one of us into our world so that others too may come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour!  We wish you a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year!  

May God bless you.

Paul & Louise Wood

Captain’s Log October 2008

Dear Friends,

Last month saw the opportunity for us to come together as a church to celebrate Harvest, both with the Supper and the Sunday worship.  It was a personal delight for Louise and I to have as our guests on Harvest Sunday, Majors Mike & Joan Parker.  It was a delight
because the Majors were very encouraging and supportive to us in our early days on the path to becoming Salvation Army officers. 

Whenever we take a moment to look back on our lives, we can all give thanks to God for those people of faith that influenced us positively in
different ways in our Christian journey.  It might have been an encouraging word, a shoulder to  lean on or some other way but we have grown as Christians in part because of the positive influence of these people. 

As Christians, Jesus tells us we are to be ‘salt and light’ to this world (see Matthew 5:13-16).  What a privilege and responsibility that God entrusts to us so that we might be positive influences upon others in their journey with God. 

It may also be that all of us have not always thanked the people who have influenced us over the years.  Did they ever realize how much they were being salt and light in our lives?  May all of us just seek to faithfully follow God and who knows just how many lives might be the better for it as we share the love of God with them.  We may not always know what impact we have but take heart that you are making a difference by being salt and light for God in this world. 

May God bless you.

Paul & Louise Wood